Penalty Kick

Anti-Gay Tweet About Gareth Thomas Costs UK Footballer Lee Steele His Job

British footballer Lee Steele must’ve thought he was being funny when he tweeted about out rugby star Gareth Thomas.

“I wouldn’t fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas. #padlock my a**e,” the Oxford City player  posted about Thomas, who’s currently starring in the UK edition of Celebrity Big Brother.

In the end, though, his comment cost him his job.

A spokesman for Steele’s team told the press: “The Oxford City board have decided to release Lee Steele in view of his recent comment via social media which is considered seriously contrary to the ethos of the club.”

Mike Ford, manager of the Southern Premier League club, said: “On this occasion Lee’s had to pay for his error of judgement… He’s made a homophobic comment, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s homophobic.”

Um yeah, Mike, it kinda does.

But does the punishment fit the crime here? When Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny tweeted that another player looked like a rapist, he just had to apologize.

We’d like to think Thomas and Steele could settle this privately. (Seriously, have you seen Thomas? He could crush Steele’s head without working up a sweat.)

What do you think—just desserts or overkill? Kick it around in the comments.

Photos: Oxford City Football Club, Code13 Rugby League

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  • Caliban

    I suspect there are things about this we don’t know. Would they have sacked a star player? I doubt it. So for some reason Steel was considered dispensable before this occurred.

    But I bet he wishes #padlock my pie-hole had been his hash-tag instead.

  • Alexa

    My English friend tells me Oxford City are a very low level club and the bigot probably has a day job, AND he’s old and at the end of his playing career, so it’s not really a big deal for him to be fired. Top level players like the Arsenal goalkeeper would almost always get a slap on the wrist.

  • EdWoody

    @Alexa: It may not be all that big of a deal for him, but it sends a very clear and unambiguous message to everyone else that this kind of shit is not acceptable.

    And it’s either a very stupid or a very brave man who says anything homophobic to Gareth Thomas.

  • Kenny

    White Homophobia!

  • Liam

    The fact he has been fired may just be a result of a bigger problem the Football League is facing over here. Alot of high profile clubs are getting in trouble at the moment because of racism. However, Oxford City is a very inkown and very small club. Then again, he is a homophobe, maybe other clubs should follow Oxford’s example.

  • BobC562

    Personally, I think the bigger issue for Gareth Thomas is Mickey Rourke playing him in a bio-pic. I shudder at the thought.

  • neukenuk

    BobC562.. I second that opinion. I wont be watching it now

  • ewe


  • CMObrero

    Thyis sets a precedent. But as some say, not a big deal since Oxford is not a big deal.

  • Tackle

    From what I hear, padlock or no padlock Gareth wouldn’t be remotely interested in this guy. Just not Garets type.

    And thats a nice pic of Gareth.

  • Mike UK

    I’m sure when he comes out of the BB house Gareth will be laughing his arse off at the comments this nobody has said about him!

  • tjr101

    Had this been an athlete in America, he would have issued a lame ass apology through a publicist and still be playing now.

  • steve sydney

    How can that pig Gareth would go anywhere near him??

  • Tommy Shepherd

    Well, neither of them are my cup of tea, but I always find it hilarious how certain “straight” men protest too much and like to imagine that every gay man will want to have sex with them. It’s so Penelope Pitstop. Poor Lee Steele – fantasising about being cooped up in the Big Brother house and sleeping next to Gareth Thomas. How thrilling that must be for him!

    No wonder he wanted to “padlock his arse” – either that’s a new exotic sex term – perhaps like extreme fisting, or it’s because Steele is terrified of unleashing his inner greedy bottom…

  • Greg

    Lee Steele Looks like a PIG! Pigs only sleep with other pigs!!!!!!!!

  • Shannon1981

    IT isn’t about how low or high level a club/team/player is. It is about sending the message that this shit just does not fly. So, to that end, good job, whoever made the decision to can his ass.

  • Mike UK

    unfortunately it does, out of a country of 70 million people i doubt there is more than 10,000 who knew who this guy was until he was on the news a couple of days ago, until it happens to a top flight player then no one is going to give a rats arse!

  • KJM1968

    Maybe his arse is better looking than his face.

  • Mark

    This has been covered on and the amount of anti-gay comments that people have posted there have sickened me. Seems that homophobia is alive and breeding in the UK – check it out. Lee Steele looks like, and sounds like the average, unintelligent meat-headed knuckle-dragger that we have to suffer here in the UK. Very little education / intelligence here nowadays, and ignorant comments like this are the result. He thinks that anti-gay comments make him more “manly” I suppose. I’m sure he wouldn’t dare say anything to Thomas’s face (!)

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